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Showing posts with label dollar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dollar. Show all posts

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Gold witnessing the silence before the storm

Gold prices have continued trading in a quiet manner, unable to break the narrow range that has been established in recent weeks.

Recently prices have remained stuck- between $1282 and $1307 – for three weeks now, as risk-off developments that would typically raise demand for the precious metal were counterbalanced by a strengthening dollar. Gold – which is priced in dollars – tends to weaken when the US currency appreciates, as it becomes more expensive for investors using foreign currencies to buy it.

There seems to be a determined effort to prevent the gold price from moving back above US$1,300 with the movement in the U.S. dollar up or down – which usually has an almost instantaneous effect on the price of the yellow metal

 There are too many debatable geopolitical issues about to happen, any one of which could trigger a substantial gold price rally

NORTH KOREA- The summit between US and North Korea is back on the agenda for next week, and although it may only produce symbolical results, that still bodes well for market sentiment in the sense that the risk of military confrontation is decreasing.

If this happens, we still can’t see the U.S. nuking North Korea, nor the latter attacking U.S. Territories or its allies.  The potential fallout is too extreme.  Nor do we think the U.S., for all its military might, would contemplate a ground war.  The North Korean army is too strong and the potential for unacceptable losses on the American side is too high.  So yet another contentious impasse will likely result but with a return to the escalation in tensions which could be the trigger to set the gold price alight.

But even if Presidents Trump and Kim Jong Un do reach some kind of verbal agreement there are plenty of other imminent flashpoints out there. 

ITALY- In politics, Italy grabbed the spotlight for a few days, but that storm seems to have passed for now. Markets calmed down after the nation finally formed a government, avoiding the scenario of early elections, something that was being framed as an implicit referendum on the euro, with investor anxiety around that prospect sending shock waves across risk assets globally. 

RUSSIA- Russia which may well have a military armoury to match, or even exceed, that of the U.S. has remained aloof from what might be seen as military provocation by the U.S. and its allies.  To perhaps calm things down a little may have prompted President Trump’s call, for Russia to be re-admitted to the global summit meetings – returning the G7 to a G8, although this was rejected by the other G7 members, but could yet be seen as a preliminary move to try and ease tensions.

If this happens, we still can’t see the U.S. nuking North Korea, nor the latter attacking U.S. Territories or its allies.  The potential fallout is too extreme.  Nor do we think the U.S., for all its military might, would contemplate a ground war.  The North Korean army is too strong and the potential for unacceptable losses on the American side is too high.  So yet another contentious impasse will likely result but with a return to the escalation in tensions which could be the trigger to set the gold price alight.

But even if Presidents Trump and Kim Jong Un do reach some kind of verbal agreement there are plenty of other imminent flashpoints out there. 

CHINA- Looking at recent developments, the global trade outlook has grown even more uncertain, and the situation looks likely to deteriorate further before it improves. Whereas things were looking rosy a couple of weeks ago, with the US and China citing progress in talks and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin saying “we are putting the trade war on hold”, the White House soon ‘ruined the party’ by announcing it is considering $50bn worth of tariffs on Chinese goods. The US will announce on June 15 which products will be targeted. Unless the US backs off by then, China is likely to strike back with its own measures in tit-for-tat fashion, reigniting concerns that this could spiral into an actual trade war and potentially triggering another round of risk aversion.

Given signals of a weaker US dollar, U.S. debt, and positive physical demand, it’s only a matter of time until gold breaks above $1,300 an ounce and climbs to $1,400 and gold, which is traditionally viewed as a safe-haven asset in times of economic weakness, should gain its shine again as the current economic cycle reaches its late stages and with expectations that the equity bull market is coming to an end.

While the geopolitical arena seems to be posing less of a risk for markets, developments around global trade have not been as encouraging, leaving investors with little motivation to alter their exposure to havens like gold. That might change soon though, depending on how the US-North Korea summit and the upcoming Fed meeting play out, alongside whether the White House will finally impose another round of tariffs on China.

Whether gold has been weak because of a stronger dollar, a seeming easing of immediate geopolitical tensions, U.S. Fed interest rate moves, seeming strength in the U.S. economy, or due to continuing moves to suppress the price by the powers that be as some would have it, the bears are currently taking advantage, but this could turn around quickly should any of the stronger potential geopolitical issues blow up in our face.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Gold - A hedge tool against market risks

Last week gold witnessed a lot of volatility in the market but not much uptrend. It repeatedly failed to penetrate the resistance level of $1302 an ounce. And by the end of the week gold was expected to take a huge leap provided the US nonfarm payrolls data would have been way beyond expectations.
But nothing like that happened. In fact gold dampened post the data release.

Gold settled back below $1,300 an ounce on Friday, as upbeat monthly U.S. employment data buoyed the dollar and suggested that the Federal Reserve remains on track to raise interest rates later this month and later this year.


Relative calm also returned to Italian politics, a move also seen helping to pave the way for U.S. action on rates.

Data released on Friday showed that
the U.S. created 223,000 new jobs in May,
Unemployment was down to an 18-year low of 3.8%.
Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose to 58.7%, up 1.4 percentage points from April and a two-month high.

Gold was pressured downwards due to
Great job numbers
lower unemployment rate
increased labor participation rate
ISM


This data can further help and support Fed officials to hike the interest rates again in June and further keep them on a gradual hiking place.

Rising real interest rates impact the opportunity costs of holding gold because the metal provides no yield, and entice investors to rotate into riskier assets like stocks. Higher rates may also boost the value of the dollar which usually moves in the opposite direction of the gold price.

Market players had expected European geopolitical tensions to influence gold prices and pull it across the $1300 mark, but it seems that gold will be having a tough time to scale that point.
Apart from the US data and other issues, gold is also being influenced by other global issues.
There is currently a wave of populism riding in Italy that is sure to bring more volatility to the markets, and with financial unrest comes a surge in gold.

Italy is experiencing a contagion problem around the build-up of debt that originated with the 2010 debt crisis.

In 2010, the concern was that most of the bad loans in Italy and Spain were owned by French and German banks, and the E.U. since then has escalated by 300% owning these bad performing loans," he said.

Mounting non-performing loans mean that credit default swaps may rise, and banks may opt to buy gold bullion as a hedge against market risks.

History says that trying to trade gold bullion as a political or short-term ‘safe haven’ is unlikely to pay. Smarter traders have in fact gone the other way over recent months, selling when the headlines screamed crisis and buying back when prices then eased. Or take the long view, and use gold to balance the risk of extended falls in the stock market.

It isn’t guaranteed to work. But that is how things have tended to play out for the ‘safe haven’ metal.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Gold to rise soon

Gold prices closed the week below $1,300 an ounce for the first time this year, after posting the largest weekly decline since December 2017. The biggest drop was on Tuesday when the precious metal plunged more than 2%.

Following a strong sell-off last Tuesday, Gold closed below a multi-month trading range that it had been contained within since January of this year, indicating that bears have won control at least temporarily. Because of this shift in price action dynamics in Gold, we are now watching upside moves / strength for potential sell signals at resistance levels to get short, as we believe there’s potential for more downside in the coming days

The downside was carried forward to the present week. Gold prices edged down on Monday as the dollar rose and demand for safe-haven assets eased after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a trade war between China and the United States was “on hold”.


Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,289 per ounce during early trading hours on Monday.
The dollar rose versus the yen and hit a five month-high against a basket of currencies on Monday, after Mnuchin’s comments downplaying a trade dispute with China, boosting risk sentiment amid hopes for an easing of trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

A stronger dollar makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for holders using other currencies. Furthermore, rising U.S. interest rates and the expectation that U.S. Federal Reserve will raise rates again next month, limits investor demand in non-yielding bullion.

Adding fuel to fire we saw, Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.1 percent to 855.28 tonnes on Friday.

After slumping over the past few months, some think that rally in gold prices will soon be over. Prices have fallen more than 5% since their April high and on Tuesday slipped below a key level $1,300 for the first time this year. Markets have been positioning for rising interest rates, which tend to move opposite of gold prices with regard to the opportunity cost of non-interest bearing assets.
But our analysts believe that this downfall won’t last long and there are reasons, more than one, which supports the fact the gold prices will rise in the short term-

European Crisis- Signs of turmoil in Europe may help revive haven demand for gold. In Italy, bonds and stocks plunged Friday, as the Five Star Movement and the League reached a coalition agreement to govern the country, outlining proposals that may pressure public finances.

It seems that debt crisis in Italy would have a far bigger impact than one in Greece.

Demand for gold from China - Chinese jewellery sellers are working to attract a prosperous, more sophisticated, younger generation of customers by expanding and diversifying its selection. Following a slow retail year for jewellery in 2017, China is looking forward to strong sales in 2018. Withdrawals at the Shanghai Gold Exchange have been above average at 170 tons monthly. April’s demand for gold was up 28 percent from 2017.

With political tensions between the U.S. and China escalating, Chinese investors are turning to gold bullion as an economic hedge. First quarter 2018 saw the demand for gold at 78 tons.

In addition to jewellery, the Chinese government has been actively increasing its gold supplies for the past decade, along with its ally, Russia. This move is believed to precede China’s plan for a gold-backed Yuan, which could significantly devalue the U.S. dollar and could replace the dollar as the global reserve currency of choice. If this happens, the price of gold is expected to rise to new, unprecedented heights, along with a political power shift from the West to the East.

Gold has always been in demand for its intrinsic value. If current trends continue and the demand for gold accelerates at its current rate, the price of gold will skyrocket.

The dollar -The "trade-weighted" gold price, a measure of the value of gold based on major currency movements, suggests that dollar strength explains much of the recent weakness in gold prices.
And though the euro has fallen nearly 5% against the dollar over the past three months, the two currencies may switch places soon which could further provide some support to the price of the yellow metal.

Demand for inflation hedges - Both inflation and expectations for rising prices have been steadily rising this year - personal-consumption expenditures hit the Federal Reserve's target of 2% in March. And while the central bank is on track to raise rates at least three more times this year, inflation jitters could still drive investors to the ultimate safe haven asset that is gold.

This, in turn, could feed through into higher demand for inflation hedges, like gold which means a rise in gold prices too.

Investors this week will be keeping a close eye on the minutes of May’s Federal Reserve meeting, to be released Wednesday, along with preliminary purchasing manager indexes in the euro zone. Geopolitics remains in focus as South Korea’s president visits Washington to discuss North Korea and Brexit negotiations resume in Brussels.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

As dollar strengthens, the yellow metal weakens

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,318.52 past week, not far from a low of $1,315.06 hit in the previous session, it’s weakest since March 21.

The metal was on track to finish the week down more than 1 percent for its second consecutive weekly decline and the biggest weekly drop in four.

The strength of the U.S. dollar - combined with the weakness of the euro zone currency after (ECB chief) Mario Draghi’s speech - is pushing down the yellow metal.


The dollar hit a 3-1/2-month high against a basket of currencies on higher U.S. yields while the euro was hampered by a dovish tone from the European Central Bank. On Wednesday the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield reached its highest since January 2014 at 3.035 percent. A rise in U.S. bond yields pressures gold by reducing the attractiveness of non-yielding bullion, which is priced in dollars.

Thursday’s trading started on a weak footing, but most of the metals ended the day in positive territory, which suggested dip buying and support are features of the market. Precious metals prices were little changed on Thursday morning, with gold and silver prices off by 0.1% – with the former at $1,316.54 per oz. Meanwhile, the platinum group metals were both up by 0.1%.

Gold continued losing ground through the early NA session and is currently placed at fresh 6-week lows, around the $1312-11 region.

After Friday's corrective bounce, resurgent US Dollar demand was seen as one of the key factors weighing heavily on dollar-denominated commodities - like gold at the start of a new trading week.  Gold prices retraced upward in what looked like a correction after higher and sent the yellow metal to a one-month low.

Easing geopolitical concerns and the strengthening dollar index are the factors which are creating the sell-off. This rise in the dollar seems to be weighing on gold and is likely to be a headwind for metals’ prices generally.

Recent increases in geopolitical tensions and rising commodity prices, especially oil, seem to have spurred inflationary concerns that have led to stronger bond yields and in turn that has lifted the US dollar, with the dollar index at 90.97. This has broken above the previous peak at 90.94 from March 01.

At their summit on Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un  and South Korean President Moon Jae-in declared they would take steps to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended only with a truce, and work towards the "denuclearisation" of the Korean peninsula.           

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday declared they would take steps to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended only with a truce, and work towards the “denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula.

The signs of detente in the North Korean conflict are ... contributing to the lack of solid demand for gold as a safe haven at present

Further as tensions o the Korean peninsula eased, the European shares rose after a positive session among Asian stocks overnight. The dollar index rose 0.2 percent on Monday, 30th April, holding just below its strongest since mid-January.

Gold fell at the start of this week, pulling back towards last week's more than one-month low as easing tensions on the Korean peninsula boosted appetite for assets seen as higher risk, such as stocks, and lifted the dollar.
   
The metal slid 1 percent last week on the back of a stronger dollar and a rise in Treasury yields to above 3 percent, which weighed on interest in non-interest bearing assets. On Thursday, it hit its lowest since March 21 at $1,315.06 an ounce.

That has left it on track to end April down 0.5 percent, erasing all the previous month's gains.
Spot gold was down 0.4 percent at $1,316.15 an ounce during trading hours.
   
Meanwhile, the Fed’s favoured PCE inflation gauge is expected to put core price growth at a 13-month high of 1.9 percent.

The latter would put the Fed within a hair of at least ostensibly meeting its dual objectives. Policymakers aim for inflation of 2 percent to be sustained in the medium term – abating the significance of a single month’s reading – but another sign of steady progress may reinforce the case for tightening.

Gold may return to suspicion, if this materializes as the prospect of higher rates sustains the US Dollar, undercutting demand for non-interest-bearing and anti-fiat assets.

   

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Has the golden streak ended

Gold was seen under pressure since the middle of last week and has continued this sentiment for the current week now, testing vital support ratios near the 1330.00 U.S Dollars per ounce level. The precious metal stumbled as the Dollar gained in forex against the other major currencies.

Gold prices fell $4.02 an ounce last Thursday, ending a four-day streak of gains, as geopolitical tensions eased and the dollar strengthened on the back of solid U.S. economic data. Gold failed to test the resistance at $1354 and was unable to break through it .As a result, prices broke below $1347.

In economic news, the Labor Department reported that the number of first-time applicants for jobless benefits fell last week for the third time in four weeks and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said the index measuring manufacturing activity in the region climbed to 23.2 from 22.3 the prior month.



This strong news supported the US dollar which in turn created a downward pressure on the yellow metal. 

Also pressuring bullion, a U.S. central banker said the Federal Reserve should keep raising interest rates this year and next to keep the economy from overheating and financial stability risks from rising. Higher rates dent the appeal of non-interest yielding bullion while lifting the dollar, in which it is priced

U.S. interest rates futures fell on Friday as traders bet on a greater likelihood the Federal Reserve would raise key short-term borrowing costs three more times in 2018 in the wake of data that showed steady U.S. economic growth.               

Spot gold lost 0.6 percent at $1,336.96 per ounce by and was headed for a weekly decline of nearly 1 percent.

What’s funny is that over the past fortnight the main reason that pushed gold prices high the same reason was responsible for its downward movement last week, thanks to the easing out of geopolitical worries. Investors were less jittery about geopolitical tensions that had supported gold prices earlier in the week, notably Syria and North Korea.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday the North Korean nuclear crisis was a long way from being resolved, striking a cautious note a day after the North's pledge to end its nuclear tests raised hopes before planned summits with South Korea and the United States.             

Though the geopolitical crisis are still high, but it looks like their severity has declined over past few days and hence gold prices are lying lull.

Gold is often used as safe haven in times of uncertainty and any easing out of such situations will surely pull down gold further.

Gold prices eased on Friday and were on track to end the week lower as the dollar advanced on expectations of higher U.S. interest rates and market players grew a bit less worried about global political and security risks.

This negative sentiment has been forwarded in the current week too. Gold prices slipped to their lowest level in nearly two weeks on Monday as the dollar remained supported on the back of rising U.S. Treasury yields. 
 
Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,333.20 per ounce during Mondays trading hours, after earlier touching its lowest since April 10 at $1,331.70. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was up about 0.1 percent at 90.392.
           
Gold, however, does continue to show important support around 1323.00 U.S Dollars per ounce and if the commodity declines further, traders might look for reversals. But patience will be an important piece of the puzzle for market participants.

The chief investment strategist said that gold is an excellent asset to invest in this year, as it guards against sudden shocks and rising volatility, especially in light of all the trade-war fears rocking the markets. Folts added that his preference is gold-backed ETFs.

Investors have also been picking up on geopolitical risks and buying gold ETFs as security. Bloomberg reported last week that the popularity of gold-backed ETFs was at its highest level since 2013.

Monday, 2 April 2018

A bad week but a good quarter for gold

It wasn’t a much pleasant week for gold as it posted its biggest one-day percentage fall in nearly 9 months.

On Wednesday, the yellow metal suffered its biggest one-day loss since February to settle at a one-week low, reacting to a firmer dollar as it deepened a pullback from the more than one-month highs seen earlier in the past week.

Though there was a moderate weakness seen in the US dollar, the yellow metal didn’t much benefit from it. Gold continued to remain under some selling pressure consecutively on Wednesday and failed to employ any positive movements.




Wednesdays’ fall saw gold retreating around 2.5% from near 6 week tops that it touched on Tuesday. Gold posted its biggest one-day percentage fall in nearly nine months on Wednesday after robust U.S. data lifted the dollar, which steadied at those strong levels on Thursday.
   
Gold prices are currently flat after a big move down on Wednesday. The culprit for the move in gold appears to be recent strength in the US dollar. As gold is traded against US dollars, a stronger currency pushes down the precious metal in relative terms.

Even the ongoing slide in the US Treasury bond yields did little to lend any support and stall the non-yielding yellow metal's downfall to over one-week lows.

On the other hand, the European equity markets created bullish sentiments for gold. Furthermore, gold prices held largely steady on Thursday, as tensions over North Korea and global trade eased.
 
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un pledged his commitment to denuclearisation and meet U.S. officials, China said on Wednesday after his meeting with President Xi Jinping, who promised China would uphold friendship with its isolated neighbour.

Gold prices slipped on Thursday as the U.S. dollar held its strong gains from the previous session, but simmering tensions over Russia and a potential trade war offered underlying support.

Moscow threatened to retaliate after the United States and other Western countries expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats over the poisoning of Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England with a military-grade nerve toxin.
                         
Though gold had a bad week, but for the quarter gold fared well. Often seen as an alternative investment at times of political and financial uncertainty, gold was on track for a third straight quarter of gains, up 1.7 percent as of Thursday as United States precious metals markets were closed on Friday for the Good Friday holiday.

While spot bullion was little changed at $1,325.17 an ounce on Thursday, the metal was up 1.7 percent this quarter, following a 1.8 percent gain in the final three months of last year. The rise comes even as the Federal Reserve has been pulling the trigger consistently on U.S. interest rates and despite Wednesday falling by the most since July.

Gold’s haven qualities have come back in focus this year as a series of events were witnessed-

  • President Donald Trump’s administration picked a series of trade fights with friends and foes escalating global tensions.
  • Investors worry about equity market wobbles that started on Wall Street and echoed around the world. 
  • Geopolitical tensions with North Korea 
  • Trump’s pick of John Bolton as his new national security adviser spurred speculation of a potentially harder line against Iran


As these series of events will increase safe haven buying in gold, what raises concerns is whether this rising demand will be met. Furthermore growing geopolitical risks could concerns of supply-side issues in the oil market.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Gold - An Investor's Favorite

It seems that after years of under performance gold is here once again to glitter. In one sense, gold is doing what it’s supposed to do. Widely regarded as a safe haven, gold is counted on to provide stability during times of stress. By holding firm as other asset classes were thumped, gold successfully fulfilled that role.

Regardless, ETF Securities’ Gold says that it’s not the short-term movements in gold that matter; the yellow metal really shines as a safe haven during prolonged market downturns.

Gold prices have been trading in the range of $1,100-$1,400 an ounce since 2013, after hitting the levels of more than $1,800 in 2011.  On Thursday, international spot gold was at $1,319.13. Going forward, the macro theme of higher inflation and interest rates is expected to continue and that would provide underlying support for gold.


Gold prices ended Friday at their lowest level in just over two weeks, generally tethered to the dollar this week yet supported by persistent global political and trade tensions given the metal’s haven-asset status.

However, Friday’s “trading action indicates that the impact of political turmoil is fleeting and that investors’ primary focus remains on the economy and monetary policy,”
There are many influential factors that create bullish sentiments for the yellow metal in the near term. Let’s have a look at them.

Gold ETF’s- If we look at investment flows so far this year, for the first time in many years, money is flowing into broad based commodities indices. The ETF [Exchange Traded funds] comes with the whole specter, that indicates the diversification aspects as they move from potentially higher inflation or interest rates scenario and this money is going into precious metals through ETF.

The increased allocation that we have witnessed over the past few years in ETFs as a safe haven or diversifies has been increasing and that will further support gold prices.

Rate Hike - Higher inflation and interest rates have been always supportive of the yellow metal, which is often seen as a hedge against any increase in the consumer price index. Rate hikes has been the best buying opportunity for gold during the past 2 years, since the present cycle has been ongoing. So long as we don’t see any accelerated cycle of rate hikes in the US, gold is going to perform reasonably well. We are buying gold as a hedge against inflation, geopolitical uncertainty, against worries about stocks markets, and all these drivers are still there,” Hansen said.

Economic Data - The market has been confined in a relatively tight range and so, gold market-timers looking for a buy signal need a clearer bearish sign. U.S. economic data Friday, ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve decision on monetary policy, showed February housing starts were down 7%, while industrial production for the same month jumped 1.1%. Consumer sentiment in March hit 14-year high. If the US overheats, and that would lead to worries about disinflation or deflation, we would see a bigger correction in stock markets, and that would have a positive impact on gold.

Demand from India and China - Gold’s qualities make it one of the most coveted metals in the world and a popular gift in the form of jewelry. From the beginning of the Indian wedding season in September until Chinese New Year in February, the price of gold tends to rise due to higher demand from the two biggest consumers of gold, China and India.

Global economic conditions - current economic conditions make an even greater case for gold. The stock market is still on a historic bull run, and the tax reform bill is helping ratchet up share prices. It’s important to remember that the precious metal has historically shared a low-to-negative correlation with equities. For the past 30 years, the average correlation between the LBMA gold price and the S&P 500 Index has been negative 0.06.

US political issues - Traders in the financial market have been weighing the potential for more turmoil in the Trump administration. Media reports said the president was planning to sack his national security adviser H.R. Mc Master, which would be the second high-profile firing from the White House this week. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired on Tuesday and replaced with Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo.

Trade war - While personnel issues unfold, concerns over a possible trade war between the U.S. and key trading partners were still weighing on investor’s minds as well, analysts said. The White House said on Wednesday it will seek to trim the U.S.’s trade deficit with China by $100 billion, using tariffs. The European Union, meanwhile, was working to get the bloc exempt from the tariffs.

Since markets strongly believe that gold is here to stay, it has once again become an essential part of an investor’s portfolio due to its history as a protector against inflation.

Gold has also performed competitively against many asset classes over the past few decades. This makes the metal, we believe, an appealing diversifier in the event of a correction in the capital markets.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Economic & Political Uncertainty key drivers for gold

Gold has now recovered from being negative to close higher on three occasions in as many days since Friday. The yellow metal’s has performed well since Friday’s jobs report was released. The precious metal has been supported above all by the dollar, which has remained under pressure. The greenback was unable to benefit meaningfully from Friday’s jobs report, which showed strong gains in non-farm employment and weak wage growth in February. On Tuesday, economic and political pressures were hitting dollar thus resulting in a weak performance.

The dollar has also been damaged by ongoing political concerns at the White House, which also had allusions for the stock markets as it elevated investor ambiguity.  Donald Trumps’ stand on international political issues mainly The Iran Nuclear deal and the North Korean regime changes are not seen with much respect globally.



Moreover, the appointment of Pompeo will be yet another supporter of Trump’s protectionist trade policies, which is what the stock markets worried about on Tuesday.

The highly anticipated Consumer Price Index measure of inflation for February failed to better expectations and after Friday’s weakness in wage growth, it underscored expectations that prices are not as hot as had been expected, decreasing the odds of aggressive rate hiking from the Federal Reserve. However, the Fed is highly likely – almost certain – to raise interest rates by 25 basis points next week

But it is not only about the current rate hike- what matters is the FOMC’s outlook for interest rates further into 2018 and beyond, which will be the main focal point for the markets. If recent data, including Tuesday’s relatively moderate inflation numbers, have helped to weaken policymakers’ urgency for higher interest rates then this could put further downward pressure on the dollar and support buck-denominated gold.

However, if the Fed turns out to be more in favour of higher interest rates, perhaps because of expectations that high levels of employment may lead to higher wages and therefore higher inflation in the future, then this could be the trigger for a dollar rally, and a gold sell-off.
Over the next few days, the $1300 per ounce mark will be tested for the yellow metal and in case gold prices recover again after the Fed meeting then markets remain bullish for gold.




Monday, 12 March 2018

A turbulent week for gold

It was certainly a turbulent week for the yellow metal, as the combination of political uncertainty and U.S. rate hike expectations attracted both buyers and sellers. Though there was lot of volatility in the market, the precious metals continued to hold a well-defined range after turning sharply from key support last week and prices struggled to hold on to the early March gains.

On Friday, gold managed to pare some of its early losses to fresh weekly lows but held in negative territory through the mid-European session.



Gold prices extended losses into a third session on Friday as the dollar strengthened against the yen on hopes of easing tensions between the United States and North Korea and ahead of U.S. non-farm payroll data later in the day.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was prepared to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first U.S.-North Korea summit, marking a potentially dramatic breakthrough in nuclear tensions with Pyongyang.

A combination of diverging factors has failed to provide any meaningful drive and has led to subdued/range-bound price action. The rampant watchful sentiment around European equity markets was seen lending some support to the precious metal's safe-haven appeal and helped bounce off lows.

However, a follow-through US Dollar buying interest, supported by a goodish pickup in the US Treasury bond yields might continue to keep a lid on any further meaningful up-move for dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

Investors were glued to the keenly watched US monthly jobs report, which was expected to influence Fed rate hike expectations and eventually provide some fresh impetus for the non-yielding yellow metal's near-term trajectory.

Once data was released there was lot of upheaval in the market.

  • A strong jobs report on Friday offered some support to gold prices with U.S. Non-Farm Payrolls (NFP) topping expectations with a print of 313K for the month of February.
  • A strong read on labour force participation also highlighted underlying strength in the employment sector with a print of 63% (highest since September). 
  • Despite the job gains however, wage growth remained sluggish a downward revision to last month’s average hourly earnings accompanied by a miss in February at just 2.6% y/y (previously 2.8% y/y). 


The release is unlikely to alter the Federal Reserve’s expectations for three rate-hikes this year with gold finding solace into the close of the week.

Gold prices ended higher Friday, erasing their loss for the week, as monthly data revealed a strong rise in U.S. jobs, but disappointing growth in wages.

The U.S. dollar weakened in the wake of the employment data. Gold and the greenback often move inversely as a weaker dollar can raise the appeal for investors using other currencies to buy the precious metal.

The latest snapshot of the U.S. labour market showed strong job growth and a higher participation rate, with the nation adding 313,000 new jobs in February. But the 12-month increase in pay slipped to 2.6% from a revised 2.8% in January.

The jobs numbers initially sent gold lower, but also the wage growth data was not too robust at 2.6% and this has allowed traders to buy the dip and/or keep their long positions heading into the weekend.

Markets had braced for a stronger wages reading after an inflation scare within this report a month earlier helped sink stocks. Rising inflation could add pressure on the Fed to speed up its rate rises, which could strangle the stock market. Gold, in turn, although impacted negatively by higher interest rates, could attract hedging demand against too-hot inflation.

Overall, however, the jobs report kept the Federal Reserve on track with interest-rate hikes this year.
The U.S. dollar had tumbled to 16-month lows against the safe-haven yen late last week as fears of a trade war rattled markets after Trump announced his plan for imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminium.  This being said, the markets seem to be bearish for gold at the present moment
   
One could make the argument that if nothing changed in the world, but simply the free market was able to determine the gold price, that it would be well north of $1900 per ounce. Now factor in what is going on in the world, just how fragile the dollar-based economic system is at this point, and the likelihood of more quantitative easing, and owning gold makes more sense than ever.


Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Tug of War for Gold


Till date, 2018 has been quite an interesting year for global financial markets. While the year started with the untying of the crypt currencies market, with the main assets falling by more than 50% and creating a huge wave of uncertainty across all asset class.

Following that, global financial markets started to fall, proving that the markets could drop even further

And when that was not enough, Trump flustered the financial markets by talking about tariffs to the Steel and Aluminium imports in a bid to protect local companies.



The Trump administration said that the tariffs would protect U.S. industry, but the dollar and Wall Street shares slumped as the plan sparked fears of a trade war and worries about its potentially negative impact on the world's largest economy.
 
This will definitely open doors to a new trade war across the globe. As past events have shown, trade wars are never beneficial to any country.

An announcement by President Donald Trump regarding intentions to levy steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminium sparked a substantial sell-off in broader equity markets with traders finding relief in perceived safety of Gold.

The move fuels concerns that retaliation from competing countries could instigate a global trade war.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday there was no evidence the U.S. economy is overheating, and labour markets may still have room to improve as the central bank sticks with a gradual pace of rate hikes.           

These consecutive evens have lead to a rise in the demand for the safe haven asset, thus pushing its prices high . Gold finally broke out of its Asian/early European session consolidation phase and spiked to fresh session tops in the last hour of the trading session on Friday.

A fresh wave of US Dollar selling interest, triggered by the US President Donald Trump's tweet on trade war, provided some lift to dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

Adding to this, global risk aversion trade, as depicted by a sea of red across European equity markets, was further seen underpinning demand for traditional safe-haven assets and remained supportive of the precious metal's uptick.

Further, a goodish pickup in the US Treasury bond yields, amid growing speculations about faster Fed monetary policy tightening cycle, continued capping any strong gains for the non-yielding yellow metal.

This year, gold has traded within a narrow range. It has had a high of $1,365 and a low of $1300.  At the current price of $1307, gold has had a 50% retrenchment from its peak price of $1365. Ultimately, a combination of global risks and increased inflation may push the price higher.

After a busy week of economic data and hawkish commentary from Powell, there were only two reports on Friday. Revised University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment came in at 99.7, beating the 99.4 estimate, but coming in under the previous 99.9. Revised University of Michigan Inflation Expectations came in unchanged at 2.7%.

The focus now shifts to key central bank rate decisions next week from the RBA, BoC, BoJ and ECB with the release of the February U.S. Non-Farm Payroll figures (NFP) highlighting the economic docket.

 For gold, the importance will remain on the wage growth numbers coming Friday as the inflation outlook remains central focus for the Federal Reserve. As it stands, market participants are factoring three rate hikes this year, (starting with this month) and if the inflation picture improve expectations for higher rates may weigh on demand for gold which does not pay a dividend.

It is this pull and push war between interest rate expectations and the perceived threat of inflation / geological risk that has fueled four swings of more than 4% on either side over the past two months.
 The precious metals market would continue looking out for interest rates along with the dollar's movement. A stronger dollar and higher interest rates reduce demand for non-interest bearing gold as the metal becomes more expensive for holders of other currencies.
 
It would now be interesting to see if bulls are able to maintain their upper hand or the uptick is being sold into amid absent market moving economic releases from the US.
   

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Gold being bought on dips

Last week saw gold record its sharpest weekly gain in more than a year, as it fed off the dollar’s slump. As the week began, gold fell modestly on Monday in electronic trade, though in thinner action, as many traders took the day off for the Presidents Day holiday.

Gold prices were hit on Tuesday, with the commodity booking its sharpest daily decline in more than a year, against a backdrop of a strengthening dollar and stabilizing equities.


Gold seemed struggling to gain any grip and remained within striking distance of one-week lows. A strong follow-through US Dollar buying interest, further supported by a positive tone surrounding the US Treasury bond yields, continued to dampen demand for dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

The precious metal dropped to an intraday low level of $1325 but further losses remained limited in wake of reviving safe-haven demand on the back of a sharp turnaround in European equity markets.

Precious metals lost ground as the dollar sprung higher following last week’s sharp decline, which has mostly extended a protracted downtrend for the commodity-pegged currency. A weaker dollar can boost commodities priced in dollars, because it makes them cheaper to buy for holders of other currencies.

Another turn-around in the dollar has weighed on gold, especially as it happened when gold prices were once again challenging recent highs.

The rebound, however, lacked any strong certainty amid expectations for a faster Fed monetary policy tightening cycle. Hence, the key focus would remain on the highly anticipated FOMC meeting minutes, which would help determine the next leg of a directional move for the non-yielding yellow metal.

Even though gold lost its lustre, market players saw this dip as a good buying opportunity. Exchange-traded funds increased holdings of gold and silver this week, reports Commerzbank.  Investors appear to be viewing the price slide as a buying prospect, as gold ETFs saw inflows of 2.7 tonnes

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Sentiment Shift In The Market

Past week, we saw investors moving away from gold as sentiments shifted to bearish. A strong US economy and a strengthening dollar led to this shift. Investors were confident that the U.S economy is relatively strong and this made the stock markets go wild. Moreover Gold failed to attract investors fleeing from the biggest selloff in six years in global equities as U.S. Treasury yields rose to four-year highs.

Last Thursday, bullion was headed for a 1 percent weekly decline as it fell to a one-month low of $1,306.81 over expectations of a rate hike soon in 2018.



Investor’s expectations of rate hike were driven high by the following factors-
unexpectedly low U.S. unemployment figures
Signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve,
and other data showing the country’s economy


As we all know that higher interest rates make gold less attractive to investors as a safe haven because it does not pay interest. Instead this time, investors treated the dollar as a safe haven.

A stronger dollar makes dollar-denominated bullion more expensive for users of other currencies.

The global market selloff, sparked by last Friday’s jump in Treasury yields, and bets that the United States could see at least three interest rate hikes in 2018 due to improving U.S. fundamentals have propelled the U.S. dollar in recent days

Gold prices made little headway Friday, seemingly digesting losses suffered earlier in the week. But at the start of the week, yellow metal got a bit of a boost, thanks to a weaker US dollar.

Gold prices rose on Monday, 12th Feb, as the dollar slipped, but gains are expected to be capped ahead of inflation data from the United States this week that could mean U.S. interest rates increase more quickly than expected.

The dollar slipped against a basket of six major currencies as a bounce in equity markets ended a strong run for the greenback, used by investors as a safe place to park assets in times of financial market volatility.

Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,321.16 an ounce at 0940 GMT. It has fallen more than 3 percent since hitting a 17-month peak at $1,366.07 in January. U.S. gold futures rose 0.6 percent to $1,323.20 an ounce.

Worries about inflation in the United States surfaced after data this month showed jobs growth surged and wages rose, bolstering expectations that the U.S. labour market would hit full employment this year.

But investors still feel that the dollar will strengthen once the infrastructure spending plan will be unveiled by President Donald Trump.

If the markets are amply convinced that the scheme will deliver a potent boost US economic growth and push inflation upward, that is likely to inspire bets on a steeper Fed rate hike cycle. This will probably revive the greenback’s recovery, tarnishing the appeal of anti-fiat assets epitomized by gold.

Whatever the reasons for the shift change in market sentiment, from macro factors to algorithmic trading, these abrupt index plunges and the rise in volatility have spooked investors across the globe and have led to panic selling and active profit-taking. With a low volatility environment less certain than before, market consensus on ever-increasing stock prices may be beginning to unravel.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Where is Gold Heading To

AN upbeat U.S data and a strong dollar played key roles to pull down gold prices during the week. A lot was expected to happen over the number of data releases-

US employment report, ahead of that there is
Data on Spanish unemployment,
UK construction PMI
EU PPI
Italian CPI
US data on factory orders
University of Michigan consumer sentiment
Inflation expectation.

Of these, markets remained focussed on U.S nonfarm payrolls data and gold seemed to be behaving reacting to this influential factor


An expectation of strong economic number coming in from US strengthened the dollar. Spot gold was down 0.3 percent at $1,345.22 an ounce as the dollar ticked up against the euro ahead of hotly anticipated U.S. non-farm payrolls data, which would further give fresh clues on the outlook for U.S. interest rates.

Stronger than expected numbers could shore up expectations for the Federal Reserve to press ahead with interest rates hikes this year thus increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion

The dollar rose 0.2 percent against the single currency in early trade, though it remained on track for a seventh straight weekly loss. Its early signs of strength pressured gold, which is priced in the U.S. unit. Once data was out, gold didn’t show that great reverse effect as expected.

 Gold ended the week little changed, after rising in six out of the last seven weeks and hitting its highest in 17 months last week at $1,366.07.

 Data released was as follows -   

Nonfarm payrolls and unemployment rate- non-farm payrolls grew by 200,000 in January and the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, while wages saw their biggest jump since the end of the Great Recession, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said in a closely watched report Friday.

Hourly Earnings- More importantly, average hourly earnings increased 2.9 percent on an annualized basis, the best gain since the early days of the recovery in 2009. In addition to the solid payroll growth, average hourly earnings were up 0.3 percent for the month, matching estimates and reflecting an annualized gain of 2.9 percent. That was the best since mid-2009 as the two-year economic slump was coming to a close. However, the average work week fell two-tenths to 34.3 hours.

Within the jobs report, Wall Street and policymakers are watching wage numbers closely. While job gains have been solid and consistent, salary growth has been elusive. This report could change the narrative and might push the Fed to get more aggressive with interest rate hikes.

The Fed held interest rates unchanged after its latest policy meeting this week but raised its inflation outlook and flagged "further gradual" rate increases.           
 
During the December meeting, the Federal Reserve said that it expects that economic conditions “warrant gradual increases,” in the federal funds rate, and added that inflation declined in 2017 and was running below 2%.

Should the Federal Reserve reaffirm expectations for three rates hikes, bond yields could surge.
Some market participants warned, however, that the yellow metal may face a period of weakness as physical gold demand is expected to decline as seasonality is starting to fade ahead of the Chinese New Year.

With many other asset classes already at record price levels, there is a risk of corrections either while geopolitical developments unfold or as inflation and interest rates rise to the extent that investors take profits. Investors may well see gold as offering a relatively cheap safe haven while corrections unfold in other markets

Now gold has already broken above its 2017 high of $1357, as we had expected, before retreating over the past few days. It has now taken out some short-term support levels in the process, but the key support levels such as $1335 and $1325 are still intact, so the long-term technical bullish outlook remains in place for the time being. If we are going to see new highs for the year in the coming days, then gold will have to break back above those short-term broken levels, which are now acting as resistance. Among these, $1344/45 is an interesting level to watch today. If there’s acceptance above it then don’t be surprised to see gold go back above $1357 – the 2017 high – soon. And if gold were to get back to these levels then it would increase the probability of it reaching for liquidity that is resting above the 2016 high of $1375 next. On the flip side, if $1335 gives way first, then one will have to consider the bearish argument, more so if it also goes below $1325.



Monday, 29 January 2018

$1375 an ounce - A Crucial Mark for gold

This past week will be remembered for the cracks it revealed in the global monetary and trade building. At the Davos conference, the expression became unusually vociferous and purposeful with accusations and threats flying in all directions. Contradictory statements being mocked at and investment opportunities being knocked at.

The one thing the brewing currency and trade wars are likely to inspire among the local populace is strong gold and silver demand in both its physical and paper forms. Speculators will be looking to capitalize on currency and market instability while private and institutional investors are likely to step up their hedging strategies.

The inverse relationship between the dollar and gold has gathered strength both from the administration’s protectionist policies and the massive increase in deficit spending projected to result from recent changes to U.S. tax law. Equities remain strong, but the dollar has fallen, as might be expected, and gold prices have benefited with the drop in the U.S. dollar.


The price of gold rose 13% last year, about half as much as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and less than half as much as the Nasdaq Composite. On Thursday it reached a 12-month peak at over $1,362 an ounce, following what have now been characterized as misconstrued comments by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on the Trump administration’s view that a weak dollar is a positive for U.S. exports.

With potentially conflicting comments, the weakness of otherwise of The U.S. dollar from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and President Trump, the gold market didn’t know which way to run. 

In morning trade on Thursday, gold jumped to its best level since August 2016 touching a high of $1,365.40 an ounce after comments from US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland sent the dollar lower.

Mnuchin had to backtrack, but not particularly convincingly, on his weaker dollar being beneficial to the U.S. economy statement lest he be accused of talking the dollar down in conflict with U.S. assurances that it would not do so. 

The dollar was on track for its biggest weekly decline since May. President Donald Trump’s comments on Thursday that he wanted a “strong dollar” failed to lend much support, a day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a weaker greenback would help short-term U.S. trade balances.

President Trump’s Davos statement suggested he was in favour of a stronger dollar, contrary to his earlier position on the currency, and following this the dollar rose, and gold fell on Thursday.
The metal reversed course in the afternoon after US President Donald Trump told CNBC that Mnuchin’s comments had been misinterpreted:

“The dollar is going to get stronger and stronger and ultimately I want to see a strong dollar,” Trump said.

Gold prices rose on Friday, after falling from 1-1/2-year highs in the previous session, as the dollar remained weak despite U.S. President Donald Trump backing a stronger currency.
Spot gold had climbed 0.6 percent to $1,355.16 per ounce during Friday trading hours.

 The US dollar reverted to lower levels in Friday afternoon trade in the U.S. and gold rose back above $1,350 before activity in the futures markets and gentle dollar support brought gold back to heel and the yellow metal ended the week a fraction under the key $1,350 level.

Gold and the US dollar usually move in opposite directions and the greenback has declined sharply against major currencies since Trump's inauguration. The euro has gained 15% against the US currency, the British pound more than 13% and the Canadian dollar nearly 8% in little over a year.

Gold has gained more than $100 an ounce since mid-December. Large-scale speculators increase their exposure to gold on derivatives markets by doubling net long positions – bets that gold will be more expensive in future – in the space of three weeks to the equivalent of 20m ounces.
Retail and institutional investment in gold-backed exchange traded funds (ETFs) also continues to grow.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg ETF vaults now hold around 2,250 tonnes, the most since May 2013, as investors piled in ahead of a US government shutdown.
         
The break above $1,330 has given fuel to gold's rally and the first target of this movement could be seen at $1,375 and if it crosses this mark then the rally could continue with targets at $1,390 and potentially at $1,415.

To an impartial (relatively) external observer of the market, the gold price did appear to be trying to rebound back above $1,350 but kept being knocked back again.  Whether it can build sufficient momentum to breach the $1,350 level permanently remains to be seen, but one suspects it will do so barring any major adverse news or data.


Saturday, 27 January 2018

Concerning issue for Gold

The positive effects of a year end are seen hovering around the yellow metal at the beginning of 2018 too. Gold held a strong finishing in 2017, up by 13.5 percent according to World Gold Council.  Gold’s annual gain was the largest since 2010, outperforming all major asset classes other than stocks.



Contributing to this gain was a
Weaker U.S. dollar
Stock indices hitting new highs
And geopolitical instability

All of these combined created an atmosphere of geopolitical and economic uncertainty, thus benefiting gold.

The uncertainties haven’t seemed to calm down, and hence gold continues its rally in the first month of the year. Gold continued to gain some positive traction through the early European session and was seen hovering around 4-month tops touched last week.

The US Dollar sank to fresh three-year lows, below the 90.00 round figure mark and was seen benefiting dollar-denominated commodities - like gold.

Meanwhile in the U.S. some risk-aversion trade has eventually provided an additional boost to the precious metal's safe-haven appeal.

With the USD still struggling to gain any respite, the commodity seems all set to build on its bullish momentum and head back towards testing September 2017 highs

While we see gold touching monthly highs, we shouldn’t forget a concerning issues- What if markets collapse? Well, then  it  could suffer collateral damage as institutions and funds struggle for liquidity and have to sell good assets to stay afloat.

A similar situation had surfaced in 2008 when the stock market collapsed, but gold comparatively has recovered faster than equities and since then went to be its strongest bull market ever with prices rising to new heights of over $1900 an ounce

Now that god prices have reached $1350 an ounce, whether it stabilises there, rallies or gets pulled back--- depends on the U.S. dollar and Whether the U.S. market will allow it to stay there.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Gold - A Store of Value

Though gold headed for its first weekly drop in six week, it remained in the positive territory - thanks to U.S uncertainties, Bitcoin crisis, ECB hawkish comments to name a few.

Spot gold has declined 0.5 per cent so far this week, its worst week since early December.

Spot gold was up 0.4 per cent at $1,332 an ounce by 0659 GMT. On Thursday, it touched its weakest level since Jan. 12 at $1,323.70, having fallen from recent four-month highs.

Amid worries of a possible US government shutdown, the dollar weakened and gold strengthened with prices rising higher on Friday. Legislation to stave off an imminent federal government shutdown encountered obstacles in the US Senate late on Thursday, despite the passage of a month-long funding bill by the House of Representatives hours earlier.

Legislation to avoid a US government shutdown at midnight on Friday advanced in Congress, as the House of Representatives on Thursday night approved an extension of federal funds until February 16, although the bill faced uncertain prospects in the Senate.

The dollar has fallen since 2017 largely on expectations central banks besides the Federal Reserve are seeking to end their policy of ultra low, even negative, rates that they adopted to combat the 2008 global financial crisis and the recession that followed.

Furthermore, reacting to ECB’s hawkish language, gold prices rose during Asian morning trading hours. The yellow metal gained momentum as ECB’s December meeting minutes and soft US data weighed on the dollar.



ECB’s December minute were claimed to be hawkish due to a discussion of a gradual shift in guidance from early 2018 - much earlier than had previously discussed.

A disappointing US data lowered the dollar. The dollar index was down by 0.5% at 91.81 as of 11:57 am Shanghais time.

The December Producer price index fell 0.1% against an expected increase of 0.2%
Unemployment claims rose to 261,000 this week. Marking the fourth consecutive weekly increase and a more-than-three- month high.
.
As mentioned above, another reason that has favored the rise on gold prices is the much hyped Bitcoin. Is it a bubble or a boom? Bitcoin, the world’s most popular crypt currency, has seen a major correction, losing over 40 percent of its value in less than a month, prompting investors to dump the crypt currency in exchange for the precious metal.

As of this writing, the cryptocurrency, which skyrocketed from below $1,000 in early 2016 to the historic milestone of $20,000 in December 2017, was hovering around $11,600 per a coin, according to CoinDesk. On Wednesday, the price of Bitcoin dropped to $9,400 at one point.

Currently Bitcoin look quite uncertain. It was easy to get into it but now investors are finding it difficult to come out. AS we see that currently with Bitcoin and dollar facing a decline in vale, gold on the other hand ahs rallied 7.5% in the past month and also carries with itself a history of being a safe haven asset and a store of value.


Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Glitter metal gives Bright performance

2018 has definitely given gold the good launch platform. This year, gold began with its highest opening price for a calendar year. This opening has been its highest in the past 5 years after rising by around 13 per cent last year.

Last year, gold managed to close above $1300 an ounce and has been seen hovering on the range. In the currency year too gold reached its highest level since it opened on Jan 1st.



This marks only the fourth time ever that gold has opened the year above $1,300 an ounce.
The main reason for this bright performance of the glittering metal can be accrued to a weak US dollar which fell by 10% last year against a basket of major traded currencies – the worst yearly performance since 2003.

In large part, the performance of gold, and indeed the performance of many dollar-denominated asset prices have been justified by the dollars weak performance.

The US dollar weakened across the board after the release of the US employment report and pushed gold to the upside. The metal rose $6 in a few seconds, from $1316/oz to $1323 to test daily highs. It failed to break higher but it was holding near that area and also close to Thursdays high of $1326.

Before the report realised gold was trading in a negative territory, pulling back from the monthly high that it had attained. But once the U.S. data was released gold rebounded as it found support at $1315.

According to the Labour Department,
The US economy added 148K jobs in December, below the 190K estimated by market analysts.
Average earnings rose 0.3% (as expected)
While the unemployment rate remained at 4.1% (17-year low).


A few minutes after the report the greenback recovered most of its losses. Despite being below expectoration the data continue to signal a strong labour market and it did not alter significantly Fed rate hike expectations.

As we have already discussed this before that Gold started out 2018 strongly, drawing support from a soft U.S. dollar. But the demand for the yellow metal in the Asian markets hasn’t picked up well. 

Spot metal hit a high of $1,321.45 an ounce overnight, its strongest level since mid-September, before easing back slightly.

Signs of seasonal Asian buying are yet to be seen in any meaningful way, which does make it difficult to chase this move higher, although we do expect this to begin filtering in over the next week or so.

We all know that gold has always proved to be a safe haven asset in times of uncertainties and has also been one the highest return generating asset in its class. And the same is expected to continue, keeping in mind gold's past years performance and current year’s opening.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Many competitors for gold in 2018

Gold began 2018 on a firm note on Tuesday after prices hit their highest in more than three months, supported by technical factors after breaking above $1,300 an ounce last week.

Spot gold rose 13 percent last year to mark its best annual performance since 2010. A wilting U.S. dollar, political tensions and receding concern over the impact of U.S. interest rate hikes fed the rally.
The greenback, in which gold is priced, had its worst performance since 2003 last year, damaged by tensions over North Korea, questions over Russian involvement in U.S. President Donald Trump’s election campaign, and persistently low U.S. inflation.


 The dollar’s drop to three-month lows versus a basket of currencies on Friday lifted gold to its highest since mid October. In the last couple of weeks, trade has been relatively thin, yields have been under pressure and the dollar as well, so gold has profited from that.

Preceding real yields, dollar is the most important driver for gold. And it was the dollar’s weakness, which even a Fed rate hike was unable to pull down gold prices. Even though the rates are hiking, the dollar I not benefiting from it.

On the other hand, Gold has clearly benefited from lower U.S. yields and a much weaker U.S. dollar into the year-end. Gold has risen more than $70 from nearly five-month lows hit in mid-December.
More than half of the $70 rally came in the last week, during the holiday period.

However, on Wednesday there was a slight halt to this rally as we saw the dollar strengthening over the release minutes of the FOMC meeting (that was geld on Dec 12-13)

The Fed’s minutes acknowledged the U.S. labor market’s solid gains and the expansion in economic activity, even as they affirmed policymakers’ worries about persistently low inflation. That suggested the central bank will continue to pursue a gradual approach in raising rates but could pick up the pace if inflation accelerates.

Fed officials also discussed the possibility that the Trump administration’s tax cuts or easy financial conditions could cause inflation pressures to rise, leading to some dollar-buying, analysts said
The dollar rallied on Wednesday on upbeat U.S. manufacturing and construction data and after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting showed the central bank remained on track to raise interest rates several times this year.

Snapping a three-week losing streak, the dollar hit session highs against the euro and yen after the minutes from the Fed’s Dec. 12-13 meeting. The dollar index posted its largest daily gain in more than two weeks.

Gold eased from an earlier 3-1/2 month high on Wednesday and was on track for its first day of losses in nearly three weeks as a firmer dollar pressured assets priced in the U.S. currency.

Currently, gold seems to rise steadily in 2018. There are many important competitors for gold that will surely play a significant role in its price movements-
Equities- The biggest competition for gold in the New Year will be equities, but if gold prices continue to hover over $1,300 then investors would surely be interested in diversifying their portfolio towards the yellow metal.
Bond yields- Another important factor for gold next year will be bond yields, but noting that he sees limited impact in the long-term.
Inflation- With inflation expected to rise, that investors need to be more clear as to real interest rates will push higher or remain at current low levels.

Looking ahead, it is difficult to determine if gold will hold these holiday gains when traders come back in full force in the New Year.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Gold - Past performance future prediction

As the year comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the main gold trends this year, from the impact of US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes to widespread geopolitical uncertainty, how it performed and how the outlook is in 2018.

Though gold made double digit gains in some currencies, it did have a tough year. The precious metal has had some harsh criticism from the mainstream media and unfair comparisons to lubricious assets, such as bitcoin and US equities.

Few have acknowledged gold's impressive performance in the face of rising interest rates, tightening monetary policies and the ongoing equity bull market.

When we see gold’s performance over the past 12 months, I think it would be better to divide it over 4 quarters to get an enhanced understanding of gold, its performance and the reason behind its volatility.



Quarter 1- The main driving force for gold prices in this quarter was Trumps uncertainty.
Concerns about US President Donald Trump and anticipated rate hikes from the Fed caused worries, as did the Brexit process and European elections. All of those factors combined in the first three months of the year to drive the yellow metal’s price
During the first quarter, gold traded between $1,184.62 and $1,257.64.
The gold price made its eighth Q1 gain in 10 years in the first quarter of 2017, buoyed by safe-haven demand from anxious investors.
Early in 2017, GFMS noted a gradual rise in gold demand complimeeyed by a reduction in global mine output, resulting in smaller surplus in 2017. This supply demand gap further reflected a bright year for gold and gold stocks in particular in the first quarter.

Quarter 2- Herein steps the Fed, whose hawkish tone influences the market and gold prices in particular.
The gold price stalled in the second quarter of the year as concerns about geopolitical tension faded away. The Fed increased interest rates for the second time of the year in June — that hurt the yellow metal as gold is highly sensitive to rising rates.
Demand for gold dropped 14 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2017 due to a sharp fall in ETF inflows, according to the World Gold Council (WGC). Total global demand for gold reached 2,003.8 tonnes from January to June, down from 2,318.7 tonnes in the same period the year before.
The yellow metal traded between $1,218.80 and $1,293.60 during the quarter.

Quarter 3- a Series of uncertain events leading to geopolitical crisis once again put gold on the top list of safe haven assets.
The gold price gained more than 3 percent in the third quarter, even though September was one of its worst months of the year.
A weaker US dollar and geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea supported gold over the quarter. Gains were offset by the Fed’s hawkish tone, which pointed to another interest rate hike later in the year and three more in 2018.
At the end of the quarter, most analysts agreed that worldwide political developments, as well as the US dollar, were set to be key drivers for the gold price for the rest of the year.
Gold traded between $1,212.20 and $1,348.60 during the quarter.

Quarter 4- The most awaited Fed meeting becomes the focus globally. 
The gold price remained almost neutral in the last quarter of the year, and was on track for a quarterly loss of less than 1 percent. Trump’s new Fed chair nomination and the expectation of another rate hike in December were some of the key factors driving prices during the period.
The yellow metal has been trading between $1,285.50 and $1,298 during the quarter.
So as we saw that in spite of witnessing volatilities, 2017 was a tough yet good year for gold.
Now what we need to pay heed to is that whether the above mentioned factors will continue to influence gold in 2018 or do we have many more surprise for the yellow metal in the following year-

The gold price is likely next year to continue the rise it commenced two years ago. The main contributory factors here remain the extremely

Loose monetary policy pursued by nearly all key central banks, resulting in ongoing very low to negative interest rates.

Political uncertainty is also likely to be a constant feature throughout the year. One example worth mentioning is the difficult process of forming a government in Germany, the outcome of which remains unclear. Parliamentary elections will probably be held in Italy in the spring of 2018 and could spark renewed unrest in the Euro zone

Brexit is likely to become an increasingly hot topic during the course of the year if agreement is still not reached in the negotiations between the EU and the UK and the UK’s disorderly exit from the EU becomes more likely in the spring of 2019.

 That the second year of Donald Trump’s presidency in the US will run any more smoothly in terms of domestic or foreign policy than the first one did.

The implementation of the tax reform and the possible implications for monetary policy are likely to keep the market just as much on tenterhooks as the ongoing investigations into contacts between Trump’s election campaign team and Russia.

A prediction of the future approach of the Fed towards the monetary policy gets difficult as, Trump will next year make several new appointments to the Fed’s Board of Governors.

What is more, midterm elections to the US Congress will be taking place in the autumn of 2018, which is likely to increase pressure on Trump and the Republicans to implement the tax reform. Otherwise there is a risk of the high-flying US stock markets correcting, which would benefit gold

The numerous geopolitical crises should likewise generate latent uncertainty. These include in particular the North Korea conflict, the growing tensions in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the conflict between the West and Russia over Russian influence in the US elections and in Eastern Ukraine.

Admittedly, the Fed has already raised interest rates twice this year, and is likely to do so for a third time in mid-December. Our economists expect three further rate hikes next year. However, this does not necessarily preclude a rising gold price, as 2017 has shown. This is because other central banks apart from the Fed – such as the Bank of England and the Bank of Canada – have also increased interest rates in the meantime, which reduces the benefits of the rate hikes for the US dollar.

 Physical gold demand should generate somewhat more tailwind next year. It was fairly subdued in 2017. The World Gold Council (WGC) expects gold demand in India ultimately to reach a mere 650-750 tons after a strong first half of the year, putting it at a similarly low level as last year. Demand fell away when a goods and services tax was levied on gold purchases with effect from 1 July.

Gold ETFs On balance, ETF investors have hardly bought any gold at all since the end of September. By contrast, the world’s largest gold ETF – the SPDR Gold Trust that is listed in the US – recorded only minor net inflows. The numerous uncertainties and low real interest rates suggest that we will also see net inflows into gold ETFs in 2018. How pronounced these turn out to be will depend to a large extent on whether stock markets continue to fly high or whether they correct.

Numerous political uncertainty factors in Europe and the US, as well as a number of potential sources of geopolitical crisis, are likely to boost demand for gold additionally. Gold demand in Asia should have bottomed out and increase moderately in 2018. The gold price is likely to rise during the course of the year and to be trading at $1,350 per troy ounce by the end of 2018.

One risk factor for gold is the US tax reform. If this is fully implemented, the rally on the stock markets could continue, meaning that gold is in less demand accordingly.

So as we always say, gold is expected to have its share of highs and lows in 2018 and of the influencers discussed above, which happens first and how severely it happens will decide the fate of the yellow metal.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Fed Hike fails to cap gold


Spot gold headed for the biggest gain in three weeks after Federal Reserve officials stuck with a projection for three interest-rate increases in the coming year, easing concerns that speeding up economic growth would spur an even faster pace of monetary tightening.

Gold prices rose on Wednesday, extending gains to 1 per cent as the dollar fell after the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates as expected but left its outlook unchanged for coming years.
The spot gold price rallied to US$1,256.87 after the Fed raised its benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points, or a quarter of a percentage point.

Gold prices on Friday held onto gains made after this week’s interest rate rise by the U.S. Federal Reserve and were set for their first weekly rise in four weeks.


The U.S. Federal Reserve decided to increase the U.S. interest rate by 25 basis point on its latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting held on 12th and 13th December.

By a 7-2 vote, the Fed on Wednesday raised the benchmark lending rate by a quarter percentage point, its third hike this year. In a statement following a two-day meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee omitted prior language saying it expected the labor market would strengthen further.

This move was highly anticipated by the market and hence was being priced against gold well ahead of the meeting. However, despite the action being against the attractiveness of gold as an investment, gold prices  closed on a higher note on December 13th.

Generally, a rate hike pulls down gold prices. But contradictory situation was witnessed on Wednesday, where gold prices remained high even after a rate hike.

 “Gold moved up in its initial reaction because Fed is dovish in terms of a rate hike vision for 2018, and it sees only three rate hikes, not four.

This vision weakened the US dollar which gave the required push to gold prices.

The U.S Dollar Index (DXY) measures the value of the dollar against a basket of six major foreign currencies. The index fell roughly by .6% during the Fed's announcement on the 13th, which was otherwise gaining momentum ahead of the meeting. Although, an interest rate hike should have ideally strengthened the position of the dollar, the Fed's decision negatively impacted the currency as the meeting kept its projection for interest rate hikes for 2018 unchanged.

 This was despite the fact that the Fed sees a consistent recovery in the U.S. economy in the upcoming year. The Fed expects 3 additional rate increases in 2018 and another 2 in 2019, in line with its September projections. However, GDP growth expectation was increased by .4% higher than its previous estimate of 2.1%, mainly due to the impact of the implementation of the U.S. tax reform
GOLD BARS rose above 1-week highs against most major currencies in London trade Friday, extending their recovery from this week's multi-month lows as world stock markets slipped for a second day from new all-time highs.

The dollar was on the defensive on Friday after wrangling over a bill to change the US tax code dented confidence, while the euro sagged after the European Central Bank signaled it would maintain stimulus for as long as needed

As the Fed and ECB reverse sharply from their unprecedented easing of recent years to unprecedented tightening in the coming years, these record-high, euphoric, bubble-valued stock markets are in serious trouble.  As they roll over and sell off, investors will rush to prudently diversify their stock-heavy portfolios with counter-moving gold.  There’s nothing more bullish for gold investment demand than weakening stocks.

So contrary to recent weeks’ and months’ erroneous view that Fed rate hikes are bearish for gold, history proves just the opposite is true.  Gold has thrived in the 11 modern Fed-rate-hike cycles before todays, and it has powered higher on balance in this 12th one.  While you wouldn’t know it after this past year’s extreme Trumphoria rally, Fed rate hikes are actually bearish for stocks and thus quite bullish for gold.